If you really want to know what people think about you, ask. As simple as it sounds, it’s the most logical way to find out. However, where you ask, how you ask and when you ask will have a significant impact on the quality of the information you gather. To help you get the best information possible, here are four effective ways to get customer feedback.
1. Conduct surveys
Surveys fall into two categories: long and short. Long surveys are usually best conducted by email to your customer list and social media followers. To ensure you get as many responses as possible, offer a useful incentive and keep your surveys short and to the point. Ask no more than ten questions max—ideally five.
To gain the best possible intel, make sure every question is both pertinent and open-ended. Avoid rating scale and multiple-choice questions. Instead, ask questions formulated to determine what your customers really think. For example; “What do you like most about our site?” or “What changes would make the site work better for you?”
Short surveys work well when they’re on the site, but only with one or two questions relevant to the page upon which they are displayed. The questions should be very specific, open-ended and surgically precise, for example; “What do you think about the way products are displayed here?” or “How can we make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for?”
2. Ask for live feedback
This method catches your customer while they’re interacting with your store and asks them to comment on the experience while they’re having it. When you’re strategizing how to create your eCommerce site, make sure you give people a way to express a concern while it’s fresh in their minds. Maybe they wish you had more color selection, or maybe they would really rather have found a particular brand.
A simple box at the bottom of a page asking something like; “How can we make shopping here better for you?” gives your customer an opportunity to tell you what’s on their mind while they’re thinking about it—and it says you care.
3. Be responsive
When people take the time to express concerns, get back to them as soon as possible. Thank them for their input, let them know you heard them and show them you’re doing something about it. If they’re looking for a product you don’t have, help them find it. Zappos does this and has some of the highest-rated customer service in eCommerce.
Whenever you get direct feedback from a customer, make it a point to get back to them within 24 hours or less. When you do, thank them for their input and ask them to elaborate on the situation so you can get as much information as possible.
4. Keep an eye on social media
When people don’t like something you’re doing, they usually tell everyone they know rather than you. A good example of this is the forcibly removed United Airlines passenger. Were it not for social media, that story might have only circulated among friends of people who were on the plane. Social media turned it into a worldwide furor. Pay attention to what people say about you on social media. If something untoward comes up, own it and address it immediately.
These four effective ways to get customer feedback will help you get a better understanding of your customers’ attitudes, needs and desires. Once you have it, proactively addressing their concerns is a great way to generate repeat business.